From the editor

Not what's next, but what's important (this week)

May 4, 2010
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People are always asking about the next "big" trend. But that seems like an antiquated way of looking at things. Is it possible anymore, in our fragmented society, to have one trend drive every consumer at the same time? No, not really. Today, it's a thousand different 'next big things' coming to the forefront. The secret is not keying in on what's next, but what's important. Here's our attempt to help you do just that-a curated list of stories that, to us at least, offer obvious clues of what's important...this week.

Australia orders unbranded cigarette packaging. World's first "plain packaging" anti-smoking program takes hold. (What are the implications for other categories on the hot seat, particularly sodas and snacks?)

Who owns the daisy? Method fires back at Clorox's attempt to trademark the daisy, offering a thoroughly on-brand response to Clorox's cease-and-desist letter. (Is Clorox off-the-mark on this, or simply protecting its brand?)

An iPhone-like vending machine. (Technology is making the vending machine an experience and a more viable retail format. Here's an overview of how luxury products like bikinis, cosmetics and electronics are tapping the growing trend)

What researchers found inside a beached whale. Capri Sun won't be happy. The backstory is here.

BPA swirls in controversy. Government steps up scrutiny of BPA. Food industry fights back and threatens withdrawed support for food safety bill. General Mills pulls BPA from its organic tomato cans. For others, though, alternatives are tough to find.

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